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Pragyan Ojha

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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BCCI Secretary Jay Shah Confirmed BCCI Won’t Hold 2021’s AGM Before September 30

BCCI secretary Jay Shah has informed all affiliated units that the board will not hold this year’s Annual General Meeting before September 30 owing to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The secretary further said the members will be informed about the date of the AGM once decided. In the letter, the secretary also informed the members of the Government Order which allows for the extension of the AGM.

Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes

BCCI Secretary Jay Shah Confirmed BCCI Won’t Hold 2021’s AGM Before September 30

BCCI’s 89th Annual General Meeting (AGM) took place in Ahmedabad on Thursday (December 24, 2020). While the Indian board gave a green signal to the addition of two more teams in IPL 2022 during the meeting, there was surprisingly no discussion on board president Sourav Ganguly’s brand endorsements.

“Owing to prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, the Tamil Nadu Government in their G.O.(D). No. 96 dated 30th June 2021 (“Government Order”) have extended the period for a registered society under the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act, 1975, to conduct an Annual General Meeting for the financial year 2020-2021, by three months, from September 2021 to December 2021.”

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

“In view thereof, you are hereby informed that the BCCI will not have its Annual General Meeting by 30 September 2021. We will keep you informed regarding the date of the Annual General Meeting,” he wrote.

The BCCI had held its 89th Annual General Meeting on December 24 last year.

Pragyan Ojha who was nominated by the Indian Cricketers Association (ICA) as a player representative, was inducted to the IPL Governing Council at the AGM. The Indian Board also increased the limit of reimbursement of insurance medical claims of retired First Class Cricketers to INR 10 Lakhs. The retirement age of the BCCI affiliated umpires and scorers has also been increased to 60 years.

BCCI Officials Were In England To Witness Lord’s Test

The board officials were recently in England to witness the second Test between India and England at the Lord’s Cricket Ground and the Virat Kohli-led side won the game handsomely.

Sourav Ganguly (BCCI president), Manu Sawhney (ICC chief executive) and Jay Shah (BCCI secretary) pose with the T20 World Cup International Cricket Council
Sourav Ganguly (BCCI president), Manu Sawhney (ICC chief executive), and Jay Shah (BCCI secretary) pose with the T20 World Cup International Cricket Council

The office-bearers also had a meeting with the players and coaching staff to discuss the road ahead as the team will be playing in the T20 World Cup once the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League is over. While the T20 World Cup was initially set to be held in India, it had to be moved to UAE with an eye on the prevailing COVID-19 situation and the monsoon season. The tournament will see arch-rivals India and Pakistan clash on October 24.

Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
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Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian cricketer showered praise on second-string Team India after they thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets on July 19 (Sunday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. As a result, the Men in Blue have gone 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series.

Taking to Twitter, Pragyan Ojha credited India A tours and IPL for creating a pool of cricketers who can take international cricket by storm on any given day.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha: Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle

Pragyan Ojha played for Mumbai Indians for 4 seasons between 2012 and 2015 and twice won the IPL title with them. He picked 89 scalps in 92 IPL games averaging 26.2 playing from 2008-2015. Pragyan Ojha played 24 Tests, 18 ODIs, and 6 T20Is picking 113, 21, and 10 wickets respectively.

Pragyan Ojha wrote: “Indian cricket is flexing its muscle. Pure dominance and contagious confident attitude. Without a doubt frequent India A tournaments and IPL have been revolutionary.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Incidentally, the India A team has played 24 unofficial Test matches between 2017-2019, which is more than what international teams like Pakistan, New Zealand, and Bangladesh have played during the same period. The BCCI has invested a lot of time and money in creating strong bench strength over the last couple of years under Rahul Dravid, which is reaping rewards now.

The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya have been successful in IPL 2020 and/or 2021 and were chosen for the first time in the Sri Lanka tour while other experienced stars like Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, and Prithvi Shaw have performed consistently well in IPL and domestic cricket for which they were selected in the senior team.

India Chased Down 263 Successfully With Crucial Knocks From The Trio Of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, And Ishan Kishan

Chasing a target of 263 in the 1st ODI, set by Sri Lanka after a late resurgence from Chamika Karunaratne (43* off 35 balls), India got off to a flying start. Prithvi Shaw went berserk against Sri Lanka’s new-ball bowlers. By the time he was dismissed after scoring 43, the visitors were already at 58 in just 5.3 overs.

After the dismissal, debutant Ishan Kishan came to the crease and announced his arrival with a six and four. The southpaw partnered with captain Shikhar Dhawan and steered the run chase with ease. Ishan Kishan scored a brilliant fifty on debut to become only the second Indian after Robin Uthappa to score a half-century on both ODI and T20I debuts.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

They added 85 runs for the second wicket before the debutant was dismissed after scoring 58 runs. While Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan went all guns blazing, Shikhar Dhawan was happy to play the role of a second fiddle.

Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 86 runs along with another debutant, Suryakumar Yadav, who chipped in with 31 as India went past the target within 36.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the series. The second ODI of the three-match series is on July 20 (Tuesday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Pragyan Ojha Feels Kane Williamson Can Be MS Dhoni’s Successor At CSK In IPL 2022

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian spinner feels Kane Williamson could be MS Dhoni’s successor at CSK as MS Dhoni is nearing the end of his cricketing career.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) might have rediscovered their old form but that doesn’t change the fact that skipper MS Dhoni is at the fag end of his career. Having retired from international cricket last year, MS Dhoni continues to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but that also has to end sometime soon as he nears 40 years of age.

Pragyan Ojha wants Kane Williamson to be MS Dhoni's successor at CSK
Pragyan Ojha wants Kane Williamson to be MS Dhoni’s successor at CSK | Photo Credit: IANS

Pragyan Ojha: Kane Williamson Isn’t Utilizef Much At SRH And Since Mega Auction Is In Next Year, CSK Can Bring In Him As Skipper

MS Dhoni had retired from international cricket last year and might quit IPL after the ongoing season. Ravindra Jadeja’s name has been floated by many for the role of CSK skipper after his exit. Pragyan Ojha feels Kiwi skipper and SRH’s batting mainstay Kane Williamson will be MS Dhoni’s ideal successor.

Many feel the IPL 2021 season could be talismanic skipper MS Dhoni’s last while there are a few who feel the wicket-keeper batsman might play for one more year.

Nevertheless, when it comes to picking his successor, the one name that is often advocated is spin all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s. However, former India cricketer Pragyan Ojha feels Sunrisers Hyderabad batsman Kane Williamson would be his ideal replacement.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

“He (Ravindra Jadeja) can be a vice-captain where if you need some help then can be your guy. But if you’re talking about captaincy, then if there’s one guy who can do it, it’s Kane Williamson. He isn’t being utilized much there (at SRH). Mega-auction is next year, if MS Dhoni is playing then this question shouldn’t arise in the first place. However, if he doesn’t play then you can bring in Kane Williamson as a captain,” said Pragyan Ojha in conversation with Cricbuzz.

Over the years, southpaw Suresh Raina has fulfilled the role of vice-captain at CSK but many even consider him lucky to have gotten an IPL 2021 contract from the franchise’s management.  With the IPL 2022 season set to witness a mega auction, there’s a huge chance that Suresh Raina will be released back in the pool while CSK would also look to rope in a player that could become MS Dhoni’s long-term successor.

Kane Williamson Led SRH All The Way To The Final Of The IPL 2018 Season

When David Warner was banned due to his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal, it was Kane Williamson who had led the Sunrisers franchise all the way to the final of the IPL 2018 season. David Warner’s return saw Kane Williamson returning to a player-only role but his credentials as a skipper are well-known considering the success the Kiwi has enjoyed with the New Zealand national cricket team.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

SRH played the first three matches without their talismanic batsman Kane Williamson and the David Warner-led side also failed to register a win initially in IPL 2021.

SRH registered victory against Punjab Kings in their 4th game where Kane Williamson returned and scored an unbeaten 16 to see SRH winning by 9 wickets. The team lost again to Delhi Capitals albeit the Super Over and then to MS Dhoni’s CSK to be placed 7th with only 2 points.

Kane Williamson has played 3 IPL 2021 games scoring 108 runs with an unbeaten 66 against Delhi Capitals his highest. He had scored 735 runs in IPL 2018 averaging 52.5 where he led from the front. SRH won their only title in 2016 when skipper David Warner scored 848 runs averaging 60.57 in 17 games.

Rishabh Pant vs England in 2nd ODI(Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
Rishabh Pant vs England in 2nd ODI(Photo Source: Disney+Hotstar VIP)
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The Way Rishabh Pant Is Developing As Leader He Can Be Future Indian Captain, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, former India spinner said while speaking to Sports Today that keeper Rishabh Pant is evolving both as a player and leader, adding that it’s evident in the way he has been handling himself as Delhi Capitals captain. Under Rishabh Pant’s captaincy, DC has won 4 out of their first 6 matches.

Former India spinner and Indian Premier League governing council member, Pragyan Ojha on Tuesday said he believes that Rishabh Pant has the potential to become India captain in the future, provided he continues to evolve into a mature leader in the forthcoming years.

Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI
Rishabh Pant Photo: BCCI

Pragyan Ojha: Rishabh Pant Can Be The Indian Skipper If He Shows Maturity And Bats In The Same Vein

Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today after Delhi Capitals’ 1-run defeat to Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 22 of IPL 2021, lauded Rishabh Pant’s composure and the way he handled himself after the heartbreaking loss.

Rishabh Pant came up with a calculated knock (48-ball 58 not out) and even played second fiddle to Shimron Hetmyer who took the RCB attack to the cleaners at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Despite the duo scoring lot of runs in the final overs, Delhi fell short of Bangalore’s total by 1 run.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha said the Indian team management should keep an eye on the wicketkeeper-batsman’s leadership skills stressing that he is able to sense a good aura around Rishabh Pant. Notably, Rishabh Pant is leading an IPL franchise for the first time in his career. He was appointed as the skipper of DC after Shreyas Iyer was ruled out of IPL 2021 with a shoulder injury.

“The way he has led his team. Somehow I get a feeling that in the years to come if Rishabh Pant bats the way he has been batting and shows this maturity, he can be the captain. He is showing that,” Pragyan Ojha said.

“When you talk about a player, the aura around him shows it. It makes me feel that this is the guy who can be the captain of the Indian team. That’s what I feel after reading about him after talking to people about him. This is the same aura that was created about Sourav Ganguly, created about MS Dhoni. So that is how it is.”

“I feel he can. It’s still far away. But right now, the way he is developing himself as a player and as a leader, that is something that the think tank should have a close look at. Under Ravi (Shastri) bhai, I think he will develop,” he added.

DC batsman Shimron Hetmyer scored an unbeaten 53 off 25 balls (4 sixes and two fours). The 23-year-old skipper Rishabh Pant, however, is counting positives from their loss to RCB. He praised Shimron Hetmyer, who returned to form for keeping the chase alive till the last over, and bringing the Delhi Capitals back in the game when Rishabh Pant struggled to get going. The return of pacer Ishant Sharma from injury would be another major positive the skipper will take from the game.

Pragyan Ojha: Virat Kohli Has Got The Trick To Develop An Indian Cricketer Even If He Plays For Other IPL Franchise

Meanwhile, Pragyan Ojha heaped rich praise on RCB skipper Virat Kohli, saying the India captain is happy to see youngsters performing even if they are from other franchises in the IPL. The former spinner, a Purple Cap winner in the past, said he felt Virat Kohli has cracked the code of nurturing youngsters.

Virat Kohli, RCB
Virat Kohli, RCB

Notably, Virat Kohli had expressed delight at CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round showing on Sunday despite the India and Chennai Super Kings all-rounder single-handedly outclassing RCB. On Tuesday, Virat Kohli was quick to put an arm around Rishabh Pant and console him after his valiant fifty against his side.

“Virat Kohli will be very very proud. The way the Indian team has been performing, the way RCB has been performing. I think he has got the trick as to how to develop a cricketer. If you see, he was very happy for Ravindra Jadeja. Today, if you see, he went and gave a pat on Rishabh Pant’s shoulders. “

“That shows he thinks ‘okay IPL is there, franchise cricket is there’. He knows what kind of a role that Pant can play when India need him to perform. As a proud captain, he will be very happy and satisfied the way Indian cricket is moving forward. Look at someone like Avesh Khan, look at Chetan Sakariya, the pool is increasing,” Pragyan Ojha said.

While Rishabh Pant smashed two fours off the final two deliveries and got to his fifty, DC fell short of a victory by 1 run, requiring 6 off the final delivery. Delhi Capitals will play against the Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday at the same venue.

Brief Scores: Royal Challengers Bangalore 171/5 (AB de Villiers 75*, Rajat Patidar 31; Avesh Khan 1/24 ) beat Delhi Capitals 170-4 (Rishabh Pant 58*, Shimron Hetmyer 53*; Harshal Patel 2/37) by 1 run.

Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
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IPL 2021: Virender Sehwag And Pagyan Ojha Feel Chris Gayle And Nicholas Pooran Are Under Undue Pressure

Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran are subjected to undue pressure for putting up a high batting score and there are issues with the Punjab Kings batting line-up as per the belief of former India cricketers Virender Sehwag and Pragyan Ojha.

The duo blamed the thought process in Punjab Kings’ batting line-up for their crushing five-wicket loss to the Kolkata Knight Riders in an IPL 2021 match in Ahmedabad on Monday.

While Virender Sehwag believed there was a need to change the structure of the PBKS batting line-up, Pragyan Ojha said the top-order is putting undue pressure on big-hitters Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran to put up a big score.

Chris Gayle (Courtesy of BCCI)
Chris Gayle (Courtesy of BCCI)

Virender Sehwag: Punjab Need To Sort Out Their Resources While Batting First

Punjab Kings went through a batting collapse against KKR. Put in to bat first, KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings was restricted to a mere 124 for 9 as none of the batters could get a decent score except Mayank Agarwal, who scored a scratchy 31.

In reply, Eoin Morgan fired an unbeaten 47 and stitched a 66-run fourth-wicket stand with Rahul Tripathi (41) to help KKR win the game by 5 wickets. Chris Gayle scored a golden duck while Nicholas Pooran registered his highest score in this IPL – 19 off 19 balls.

Chris Gayle with Virender Sehwag (@liondenkxip Photo)
Chris Gayle with Virender Sehwag (@liondenkxip Photo)

Despite having some big guns of the game, PBKS failed to post a challenging score against the Knight Riders. Virender Sehwag opined that the KL Rahul-led side was outstanding with the ball but they need to work out on their batting structure.

“Punjab need to sort out their resources, especially when they are batting first. No doubt Punjab bowled very well. They also produced a brilliant performance with the ball against Mumbai Indians in their last game. But the most important factor for them is their batting,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

Virender Sehwag further pointed out that PBKS batsmen failed to contribute which restricted them from posting a big total in the game against KKR.

“They need to make sure that their hard-hitters start performing well which will eventually make them consistent in winning games. They have the firepower to score 200-plus runs. Even if two out of their four batsmen click at right time, they can completely change the game,” he said.

Chris Gayle hasn’t exactly fired with the bat in IPL 2021 managing 119 runs in 6 games averaging 23.8 while Nicholas Pooran has been a major flop and it is surprising to see him in the XI. He managed only 28 in 6 outings averaging a dismal 5.6 and may have to make his way for the likes of Dawid Malan waiting in the wings.

Pragyan Ojha: Punjab Kings Team Management Is Putting Undue Pressure On Chris Gayle And Nicholas Pooran If They Aim 180-190 From Beginning Instead Of 160-170

Pragyan Ojha, on other hand, said PBKS are making the mistake of aiming too high by playing risky shots at the beginning. They should instead change their plans according to the kind of start their openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal provide in a particular match.

“They should think about 160-170 at first. But if you start thinking from the beginning that we have a very good batting line-up with Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran and we should aim 180-190 then you are putting undue pressure on (them).”

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Punjab Kings is in the 6th spot in the points table with 4 points from 2 wins. They have similar win-loss records like KKR but are a place behind for low net run-rate.
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021: MS Dhoni’s Prediction Once Again Impressed Former Cricketers

MS Dhoni’s ‘dry ball will turn prediction’ in the CSK vs RR IPL 2021 match which resulted in Ravindra Jadeja getting Jos Buttler’s wicket in the next ball, impressed former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Scott Styris, and Pragyan Ojha.

Undoubtedly MS Dhoni’s cricket reading and leadership skills are often praised and it came to the fore again when the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain provided an ideal demonstration by predicting that a dry ball will turn, which immediately led to the dismissal of Jos Buttler from a Ravindra Jadeja delivery that spun past his bat.

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

MS Dhoni Heard In The Stump Microphone That Dry Ball Will Turn

Chasing 189 for victory, Rajasthan Royals were on course with Jos Buttler going all guns blazing. The RR wicketkeeper-batsman hit a six off Jadeja’s bowling in the 10th over which prompted a ball-change as it had landed deep into the stands.

At the start of Jadeja’s next over, MS Dhoni was heard in the stump mic saying in Hindi that the dry ball will turn. As astonishing as it may sound, the first ball of the 12th overpitched around leg stump and spun past Jos Buttler’s bat to hit the stumps, leaving both MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja overjoyed.

Ravindra Jadeja bowled Jos Butler as keeper MS Dhoni Looks On
Ravindra Jadeja bowled Jos Butler as keeper MS Dhoni Looks On Image credit: iplt20.com

Sunil Gavaskar spotted MS Dhoni’s brilliance from behind the stumps and lauded the CSK captain.

“The bowling changes he made (was brilliant). The moment the ball was changed after Jos Buttler hit that six and a dry ball came, he said it in Hindi to Jadeja that the next ball will turn and it did turn.

“Jos Buttler got out and then he gave the ball to Moeen Ali. A dry ball for a spinner… Again, brilliant captaincy from Dhoni,” Sunil Gavaskar said in the post-match show on Star Sports.

The legendary India cricketer further credited MS Dhoni for his field placements in his 200th match as CSK skipper.

“Very impressed (with Dhoni’s captaincy)… In his 200th match as captain of CSK, he was spot on with just about everything. The bowling changes, the field placements.

“Jadeja took 4 catches but apart from that, look at the number of boundaries he saved and that is so important, to keep the right fielders in the right position and Dhoni had that,” he added.

Sunil Gavaskar was not the only one who spotted MS Dhoni’s advice to Ravindra Jadeja. Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha said that the advice changed the momentum of the match after RR was cruising at 87/2 in the 12th over with Jos Buttler and Shivam Dube at the crease.

In the same over, Ravindra Jadeja got another one to spin back sharply to left-hander Shivam Dube and trapped him LBW. MS Dhoni sensed that the spinners could now call the shots and he threw the ball to off-spinner Moeen Ali.

Moeen Ali Returns With 3/7 As CSK Wins By 45 Runs

The off-spinner Moeen Ali did not disappoint. He got David Miller out in his first over and then in his next, dismissed Riyan Parag and Chris Morris identically to end any chance of RR winning. Moeen Ali returned with 3 for 7 in his 3 overs to be awarded MOM as CSK restricted RR with 143 for 9, winning the match comfortably by 45 runs.

Moeen Ali (Photo Credit : CSK Twitter Handle)
Moeen Ali (Photo Credit: CSK Twitter Handle)

Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris who represented CSK during his playing days said he did not even expect that the ball would turn so much in RR’s innings.

“I don’t think anybody would have expected the ball to turn as much as it did in the 2nd innings. But Dhoni read the game expertly, he deserved a victory in his 200th game as captain of CSK. Simply, the brilliance he has shown for the franchise over the last 12 or more years.

“I think he is a bit more animated in this season, look at the way he celebrates the wickets, he knows how important it is for CSK to get back after last year’s performance,” said Scott Styris.

MS Dhoni’s brilliant game reading skills in the CSK vs RR IPL 2021 match impressed the trio of former cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Scott Styris, and Pragyan Ojha.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered their second consecutive victory in the season after beating Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 45 runs in Match 12 of the VIVO Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday.

Moeen Ali starred with the ball while Ravindra Jadeja grabbed 4 catches, adding to his two crucial breakthroughs that powered CSK to a comprehensive win over RR.

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 188/9 (Faf du Plessis 33, Ambati Rayudu 27; Chetan Sakariya 3/36) beat Rajasthan Royals 143/9 (Jos Buttler 49, Jaydev Unadkat 24; Moeen Ali 3/7) by 45 runs. 

Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey BCCI / Sportzpics
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IPL 2021: Pragyan Ojha Reckons Manish Pandey Needs To Take A Break

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian spinner said Manish Pandey has not been delivering as per expectations despite the trust shown in him by the Sunrisers Hyderabad team management in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and a couple of games break can work in his favour.

Speaking to Sports Today, Pragyan Ojha said all-rounder Kedar Jadhav can be a good option for Sunrisers Hyderabad who is lacking experience in the middle-order. SRH slipped to their 3rd straight defeat of the season on Saturday as MI defended 150 in Chennai.

Manish Pandey AFP
Manish Pandey AFP

Pragyan Ojha: Manish Pandey Should Take A Break From Next 2 Games

Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today, pointed out that Manish Pandey might need time to take a backseat and reassess his game to deliver better in IPL 2021 season. Pragyan Ojha’s comments came after Manish Pandey got out early after a good start from David Warner and Jonny Bairstow in SRH’s failed chase of 151 against Mumbai Indians.

Sunrisers Hyderabad slipped to their worst-ever start in an IPL season after losing their first three matches of the new season. Chasing 151 against MI, SRH got off to a solid start with openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow adding 67 runs but the former champions were bundled out for 137.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Manish Pandey, who bats at No. 3 for SRH, began his season with a 44-ball 61 not out but the Karnataka batsman was not able to finish the match in their chase of 188 against Kolkata Knight Riders. Against RCB, his strike rate came under the scanner as he hit 38 off 39 balls as Sunrisers lost by 7 runs while chasing 150 at Chepauk.

“For someone like Manish Pandey, it will be good for him if he gets a couple of games break. At times, it really helps, ” said Pragyan Ojha

Manish Pandey has been a consistent performer for Sunrisers over the years but the senior India batsman has failed to take up responsibility in the middle-order, which lacks experience at the moment. Following Manish Pandey’s exit on Saturday, Sunrisers did not get any momentum going into their innings.

After David Warner was run out in the 12th over, the trio of Virat Singh, Abdul Samad, and Abhishekh Sharma failed to chip in with useful contributions. Vijay Shankar’s 28-ball 26 ended in vain as the all-rounder was not able to take the team past the finish line.

“No. 3, it is a very crucial position. He has to deliver. Match after match, the pressure mounts. People who are watching can make out that Manish Pandey is not delivering. At times, it is important that you take a backseat, take a couple of games break and then think about your game.”

“When you’re playing continuously and you’re not doing well, you might not know what is happening and what is not. You need to take a pause,” Ojha added.

Sunrisers Hyderabad missed the experience of Kane Williamson as the New Zealand captain has not yet completely recovered from an elbow injury. However, David Warner said on Saturday that the senior batsman is close to regaining full fitness. SRH will look to open their account in the new season when they take on Punjab Kings in Chennai on Wednesday.

Pragyan Ojha: Kedhar Jadhav Can Deliver Some Handy Off-Spin And Give Stability In The Batting

Kedar Jadhav had scored only 62 runs in 8 games for Chennai Super Kings at a modest average of 20.66 and a strike rate of 93.93 which is poor by T20 standards and he was released by CSK. Despite playing 87 IPL games, he has an average of only 22.82 and has only 4 fifties. He hasn’t bowled in IPL.

Adding that Sunrisers might benefit if they bring in former Chennai Super Kings player Kedar Jadhav, Ojha said: “You need someone like Kedar Jadhav. If you see that middle-order, it did not carry forward the hard work done by David Warner and Jonny Bairstow.”

“Maybe they can look in for Kedar Jadhav who can deliver because I think they have a few more games in Chennai. He can deliver some handy off-spin and give some stability in the batting,” he added.

Kedar Jadhav (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
Kedar Jadhav (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

In the players’ auction, Hyderabad acquired Kedar Jadhav, Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Jagadeesha Suchith to their ranks. The side had bowed out of IPL 2020 in Qualifier 2 last year after suffering a loss against Delhi Capitals. SRH also wanted to bolster their middle-order and so they bought Kedar Jadhav for INR 2 Crores.

Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
Sanju Samson Deepak Malik/SPORTZPICS
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Likes Of Sanju Samson Needs Consistency To Play For Team India, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, former India spinner while speaking to Sports Today said young players like Sanju Samson need to understand the importance of consistency if they are looking to seal a permanent spot in the senior national team.

Pragyan Ojha added only established stars like skipper Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma can afford to have the luxury of going through lean patches.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha Reckons Likes Of Sanju Samson Has To Perform Consistently

Former India spinner Pragyan Ojha came up with an interesting analogy to explain why youngsters like Sanju Samson need to perform consistently to cement their place in the India national team. His comments came after Sanju Samson began his Indian Premier League (IPL) captaincy stint with Rajasthan Royals on an impressive note.

Pragyan Ojha, speaking to Sports Today after Rajasthan Royals’ 3-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in Mumbai in their IPL 2021 encounter on Thursday, said there is no doubt about the talent that someone like Sanju Samson possess but it’s important for youngsters to keep delivering in order to rise above the competition and seal a permanent spot in the Indian team.

Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI
Rajasthan Royals’ Sanju Samson in action during IPL 2020 | Sportzpics for BCCI

Sanju Samson hit a valiant 119 from just 63 balls against Punjab Kings in Royals’ IPL 2021 opener which unfortunately went in vain as the Royals fell agonizingly short of a 222-run target by 4 runs. On Thursday, Sanju Samson failed to trouble the scorers much but he led his troops well as Royals sealed a 3-wicket win over Delhi Capitals in a low-scoring thriller in Mumbai.

Sanju Samson was appointed as the captain of the Royals before the IPL 2021 after the former champions released Australia star, Steve Smith. Sanju Samson, who made his India debut as early as 2015, has not managed to find a permanent spot in the Indian team but there are no doubts about his talent.

The Kerala batsman was entrusted with captaincy by the Royals and if early signs are anything to go by, the 26-year-old is hungry for success.

Pragyan Ojha: Quite A Few Cricketers Are Like Pre-paid Sim Cards And In Order To Become Postpaid They Have To Perform Consistently

Pointing out that the likes of Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan who made their India debuts after Sanju Samson are ahead in the queue at the moment, Pragyan Ojha said only players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma can afford to have lean patches at the highest level.

“When you talk about Sanju Samson, there is one thing. When he came into this side, there was no Rishabh Pant, there was no Ishan Kishan,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.

Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL
Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant | BCCI/IPL

“In this present Indian team, consider this interesting story Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are like post-paid sim cards. They can push themselves for a bit more time without paying the bills. But quite a few youngsters are like pre-paid sim cards.

“It has to be renewed in the given time otherwise the sim is dead. All these youngsters should understand they are not post-paid sim cards. They are pre-paid sim cards, to become postpaid, they have to perform consistently,” he added.

Sanju Samson is one of the few young players who have played more than 100 IPL matches. In 109 matches he has scored 2707 runs at an average of less than 30. At the highest level, Sanju Samson has played 7 T20Is but is yet to get a 30-plus total.

Ishan Kishan, on the other hand, made a terrific international debut with his swashbuckling knock against England in the second T20I after excellent performances in IPL 2020 at UAE where he amassed 516 runs in 14 games averaging around 57 and played a part in Mumbai Indian’s title triumph.

Ishan Kishan impressed with a 28-ball half-century in his first outing in the Indian T20I team which was also his first international match.

Rishabh Pant scored 274 runs in 3 Tests in Australia averaging 68.5. He scored 91,11, unbeaten 58, 8, and 101 in the 5 innings against England. He managed 270 runs against England in 4 Tests averaging 54. He scored 155 runs in 2 ODIs and 102 runs in 5 T20Is in subsequent limited-overs series against England.

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
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IPL 2021: Dinesh Karthik Will Do Wonders If He Opens Or Bats At No. 3 For KKR – Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, a former India spinner said that Dinesh Karthik will do wonders for Kolkata Knight Riders if he opens for them or comes to bat at No. 3.

Former India off-spinner and IPL winner Pragyan Ojha believes that Dinesh Karthik is the pro version of Mumbai Indians star Suryakumar Yadav, and he will do wonders for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) if he opens the innings for them or comes to bat at No. 3 in IPL 2021.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha: Dinesh Karthik Is The Pro Version Of Suryakumar Yadav

Pragyan Ojha said that Dinesh Karthik is a versatile guy, but he needs those 7, 8 extra deliveries so that he can set himself up. Dinesh Karthik’s form will be key for KKR to get going in IPL 2021. The Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper-batsman had a forgettable 2020 IPL given his high standards.

Kolkata Knight Riders star Dinesh Karthik. (AFP Photo)
Kolkata Knight Riders star Dinesh Karthik. (AFP Photo)

Dinesh Karthik managed to score only 169 runs in 14 games at an average of 14.08, registering one half-century. Known for his ability to tee off from the start, Dinesh Karthik wasn’t really at his explosive best as he batted with a strike rate of 126.11 last season.

“I believe Dinesh Karthik opening or coming 1 down will do wonders to KKR because he is a guy if he bats long, he is so versatile. He is the pro version of Suryakumar Yadav. That’s what I feel, I have seen right from my childhood.

“That’s the reason I have always said that Dinesh Karthik should always come as an opener or maybe one down. He needs those 7, 8 extra deliveries so that you know he can set himself up,” Pragyan Ojha told Sports Today.

Pragyan Ojha played for Mumbai Indians for 4 seasons between 2012 and 2015 and twice won the IPL title with them. Pragyan Ojha picked 89 scalps in 92 IPL games averaging 26.2 playing from 2008-2015.

After a disappointing IPL season last year in the UAE, which also saw him step down as the skipper of the side handing reins to England’s World Cup-winning captain, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik had a point to prove this season, having being ousted from India’s T20 side as well.

In IPL 2021 and KKR’s first match, Dinesh Karthik, the Kolkata Knight riders’ wicket-keeper batsman was the crisis man for his side again after they lost four quick wickets as he smashed two fours and a six in his 9-ball 22-run innings to give his side a great finish to score 187 runs in their first innings against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Indian Premier League (IPL).

Nitish Rana Top Scores With 80 And Rahul Tripathi Scores 53 As KKR Wins By 10 Runs In Their 1st Match

Dinesh Karthik’s innings was the icing on the cake made by Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi, who both scored half-centuries helping KKR to recover from a slow start to take the attack to the SRH bowlers.

Nitish Rana , AFP
Nitish Rana, AFP

Rahul Tripathi brought his fifty of just 28 balls, while Nitish Rana upped the run-rate after reaching his half-century. KKR started its IPL 2021 campaign on a positive note. The Eoin Morgan-led side eventually walked home as the winners by a margin of 10 runs despite Manish Pandey’s fighting unbeaten 61, Jonny Bairstow’s 55, and Abdul Samad’s late blitz.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(c), Jonny Bairstow, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Abdul Samad, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Sandeep Sharma

KKR will play against defending champions Mumbai Indians on 13th April while SRH will take on RCB on 14th April. KKR may field the same team despite having other options like Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, and Kuldeep Yadav while Mumbai Indians who lost the opening encounter to RCB may bring in Quinton De Kock, James Neesham, and Piyush Chawla.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
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Mumbai Indians Looks A Complete Side In IPL 2021, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, a former India spinner believes that Mumbai Indians look like a ‘complete side’ before IPL 2021. However, he cautioned that MI shouldn’t get overconfident in their quest to clinch their third successive title in the impending lucrative T20 league.

Defending champion Mumbai Indians will take on Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the opening match of the 2021 edition of the IPL. Indian Premier League’s 14th edition will be held in India after BCCI decided to hold the 2020 edition in UAE due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Pragyan Ojha
Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP

Pragyan Ojha: Mumbai Indians Looks A Complete And A Solid Confident Side But Shouldn’t Be Overconfident

Several sides will again be vying for the IPL title this year but the favourites again look to be five-time champions Mumbai Indians. The Rohit Sharma-led side has been dominant in the last two years and has grabbed the title in two successive seasons.

“MI looks a complete side, they haven’t changed much in the past couple of years. Even in the auction this year they were looking for replacements.”

“Their entire team is set, and they look a very solid side. With back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2020, I think they look like the most confident side. They should have confidence but not be overconfident,” Pragyan Ojha said on Sports Today.

Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)
Ishan Kishan. Photo Credit: (Twitter)

Rohit Sharma has so far led the Mumbai Indians to five title wins in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. The likes of keepers Ishan Kishan (516), Quinton De Kock (503), and batsman Suryakumar Yadav (480) were consistent with the bat to help the side clinch their 2nd successive IPL title. Jasprit Bumrah claimed 27 wickets at 14.96 to finish as 2nd leading wicket-taker behind Kagiso Rabada.

Ahead of IPL 2021 auction, Mumbai Indians had released seven players out of their squad in the likes of Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, and Mitchell McCleneghan.

Pragyan Ojha: IPL Is All About How The Players Gel Together

MI, the most successful franchise in IPL history, has won five titles in the last eight years and once again look like the team to beat. Australia pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile turned out to be Mumbai Indians’ biggest buy as he was brought back at INR 5 crores.

Nathan Coulter-Nile
Nathan Coulter-Nile. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Mumbai Indians also inducted New Zealand pacer, Adam Milne, into their team. The right-arm pacer was bought for INR 3.2 crores. Mumbai Indians also spent INR 20 lakh to buy Sachin Tendulkar’s son Arjun Tendulkar in their team and bought New Zealand allrounder James Neesham for INR 50 lakh.

“I say this before every IPL that the tournament is all about how the players gel together. You can have 11 amazing individuals but as a team they might not gel because they don’t have the time to get to know each other. The biggest challenge is how everyone gels together, what kind of form they are in, what kind of mental space they are in.”

MI Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Piyush Chawla/ Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah.
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